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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

University of Northern Colorado Opera Theatre to Perform The Threepenny Opera

November 3, 2021

The University of Northern Colorado’s Opera Theatre will return to the stage with live performances of The Threepenny Opera, an opera by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht with an English adaption of the libretto by Marc Blitzstein. This opera is a take on life following World War I in Germany, and the life of crime the people had to take up just to get by. 

UNC has put on The Threepenny Opera in the past dating back as far as 1979, but it has been at least 20 years since the last production, according to the stage director. 

“The Weill/Brecht Threepenny Opera was the first show I ever conducted many years ago,” Russell Guyver, the music director said. “The band was onstage behind bars, as in a jail. The show opened with me collapsed drunk on the set, two policemen picked me up and frog- marched me to the jail, threw me in and we hit the overture. I can't wait to arrive at the performances of this iconic work, and I know that audiences will love it!” 

More than 20 students make up the cast between two performances, including Charles Mukaida, a UNC second year graduate student in vocal performance who will be playing the role of Macheath. 

“The music is very beautiful and just as interesting and intricate as it is beautiful,” said Mukaida. “While it has been a joy to perform it, it has also been a challenge learning the music. The more I become comfortable with it though, the more I feel the art coming to life and the character being instilled in me.”  

“I absolutely adore performing in the ensemble, especially with such a welcoming cast. Professor Brian Clay Luedloff, [the producer and stage director] makes staging rehearsals fun and exciting, and he has such a positive energy that resonates throughout the whole cast,” said Cassandra Hooper, a freshman in the Music Education program cast as Ned. “The music in this show is so captivating making it thrilling to perform. I have already learned so much from my peers, and I can’t wait to bring this show to the stage.” 

Above: UNC students performing in the opera talk about their excitement ahead of the show

The Threepenny Opera will be held on Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 21, at 2:00 p.m. at the Campus Commons Performance Hall. Tickets can be purchased online or call (970) 351-4849. For more information about these productions, contact Brian Luedloff, at brian.luedloff@unco.edu 

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About the University of Northern Colorado Opera Theatre:

Through professional-quality production and complementary curricular content, UNC Opera Theatre trains singers and directors, prepares educators, and brings the most collaborative of art forms to public and educational audiences. Each season we present two fully-staged operas with orchestra, a program of opera scenes, and a chamber opera festival, in addition to masterclasses and special events. Alumni of Opera Theatre performs regularly on stages around the globe; recent alumni have enjoyed placement in some of the finest Young Artist programs in the country, such as San Francisco’s Merola Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Central City Opera.